Overturn the Tables

Confrontation is a bad word to many people. The thought of having to speak to another person about a subject that is going to make us both feel awkward and uncomfortable makes me want to run screaming in the other direction. I suspect for myself and many others it has to do with being a people-pleaser and someone who would rather keep peace than start a war. Some of us take it to the extreme and allow ourselves to bear the burden of stress, bad feelings and to stay in bad situations because we are not willing to bring to light something that allows conversation and possible course correction. As Christians, perhaps we feel that in all situations we are to “turn the other cheek” and continue to allow someone to make poor decisions that affect us negatively, and that maybe God is giving us extra points in heaven for being meek.

I don’t think that’s true in all situations. I think there are many times God is calling us to put on the full armor of God and to go to battle to fight for good things, for justice, for the oppressed, and sometimes even for standing up for what we know to be right (Disclaimer: make sure you are asking God what right is…we can be wrong about that when we aren’t connected to God to find that out). Consider Jesus’s behavior in Matthew 21:12-13:

Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”

It sounds like Jesus threw a holy hissy fit when he encountered those who were misusing the temple’s purpose for financial gain and exploiting those who were trying to seek the Lord and worship him there. Additionally, Jesus had no qualms about challenging the thinking and practices of religious leaders the Pharisees both directly and indirectly in parables. Go Jesus!

Don’t think, though, that it wasn’t probably awkward and uncomfortable and that Jesus didn’t face resistance in the face of these decisions. In fact, he was arrested, beaten, mocked, and crucified for the whole of his ministry in service to God. I’m not suggesting that we all go poke a hornet’s nest that’s going to get us shanked in our sleep. But it does pose some interesting questions: How far would you go to make right some of the wrongs in this world? Are there times when you have been silent that you should be vocal? Are there moments when you’d rather have peace but God is calling you to overturn some tables?

Only in relationship with God through prayer and the study of truth found in His Word will you have clarity on these issues. Be so close to Him that if he calls you to move, that you know His voice and are willing to obey, even if it means stirring up your comfort.